Eastenders star thrills children at Rainbows Hospice

Aiden Kavanagh, who receives care at Rainbows, was quick to make friends with Rakhee Thakrar, who he recognised from her role as Shabnam Masood in Eastenders EMN-150717-151412001
Aiden Kavanagh, who receives care at Rainbows, was quick to make friends with Rakhee Thakrar, who he recognised from her role as Shabnam Masood in Eastenders EMN-150717-151412001
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Young children at Rainbows Hospice were thrilled when a star of television soap Eastenders dropped in to visit them.

Rakhee Thakrar, who plays Shabnam Masood in the hit BBC One show, joined in with arts activities, took part in a special TV quiz with the youngsters and also met members of the Rainbows Choir.

Rakhee, who hails from Leicester, also took the opportunity to sign autographs and pose in photographs with the children’s families and hospice staff.

She said: “What a special day. Meeting the children and young people was amazing. I never expected a hospice to be so happy, it really is a place where families can make memories.”

Based in Loughborough, Rainbows provides vital care and support for children with terminal and life-limiting conditions, as well as their families.

Rakhee, whose character in the show is currently at the centre of a major pregnancy storyline, added: “The staff at Rainbows are incredible. It’s amazing how much actually goes on at the hospice and how far the staff go to make things happen. Really and truly inspiring.”

Julie Macauley, family liaison worker at Rainbows, said: “Rakhee was fantastic, she really took the time to talk to the children, young people and staff. They were absolutely delighted to meet her.”

She added: “I think for anyone who visits the hospice, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. But Rakhee took it all in her stride and promised everyone she would pop back to see them next time she has a break from filming.”

l Visitors to the Rainbows Hospice charity shop in Sherrard Street, Melton, can be in with a chance of winning £3,000 if they buy a ticket in a fundraising initiative called the Rainbows Hospice Summer Superdraw.

Strategic Communications Services (SCS) has offered to donate an additional 10p for every ticket sold, up to £10,000.

The draw will take place on Friday August 7 and tickets, which cost £1, can be bought until Friday July 31.